TWU are calling on the govt to take a stake in Virgin to get a return in the future. Maybe TWU could put their money where their mouth is and get TWU Super to support their members and take a stake in the airlines so they too can receive a return in the future and keep jobs.
The key problem with Virgin is that there has been zero return for so long because their shareholders invested for strategic reasons. Government has quite rightly decided not to pick up the pieces and given the alleged level of interest from various different places I don't think it's going to be a tall order to find buyers even in the current environment for a duopoly airline that if run properly would be highly profitable.
If the TWU wants a piece of it they're sitting on a nice pile of cash so rather than spend it propping up the Labor Party they should invest for their members.
Other than that all of the news media today are puff pieces and posturing. I'm starting to immensely dislike Geoffrey Thomas though. His bailout barracking and one sided commentary pre-Administration was grating but his "expert commentary" now about how people should go about saving it and what parts are valuable vs others seems disingenuous.
In realising this, I think we need to acknowledge the core Virgin Australia business is fundamentally sound and that its financial problems revolve around poor strategic decisions (VARA - started and closed an entire airline, International - Loss making for years, Tiger - Political buy to entice SIA into the fold, New Zealand - Loss making market, Unprofitable routes - Right sizing the airline), rather than poor operational management. These poor strategic decisions alone probably cost Virgin Australia in the region of $1.5-2.5 billion.
In the end, it was the crippling debt that finished the airline off. My numbers suggest Virgin had debt commitments in the region of $500-800 million per year over the next five years. If we look at Virgins books, at best it has been free cash flow neutral. As such, there was always (prior to coronavirus) going to be a question mark on how VA would retire debt maturing over the next two years.
This is where I think JB is being unfairly blamed for the airlines woes. All of the decisions that lead VA down the financial disaster path were ones that would have ultimately been approved by the VA board. If we go back to 2010-12 time period when many of these strategic decisions were made, there was a fair amount of provado, chest beating, we're going to give it to QANTAS, etc. Ultimately, the hype was never going to be a match for the ensuring realities of poor decision making.
I'd suggest Geoffrey Thomas is simply aligning himself with certain power brokers that sit behind the airline. Ultimately, his rhetoric could simply be a representation of the behaviours and attitudes that got VA into the position it is in today.
Hopefully the reemergence of VA comes with some significant changes to the power brokers that have previously sat behind the airline. For me, I will be looking at the extent of changes to the ownership structure as a measure for determining the success of the administration process.
I think we have to make this very clear. VA's woes are a direct consequence of its dysfunctional shareholder base. The owners can't blame the government, QANTAS, Air New Zealand or the markets for its woes. the buck stops with them.